The scientific tourist #103 — Explorer 10

For this week’s science-related travel image, we’re going back to the New Mexico Museum of Space History in Alamagordo. The picture is of a life-size model of the Explorer 10 spacecraft:

Explorer 10 was a simple battery powered spacecraft launched into a highly elliptical orbit around the earth on March 25, 1961. It collected data on interplanetary magnetic fields, solar winds, and the reaction of our planet’s magnetic field to solar flares. But since the spacecraft’s lifetime was limited to the lifetime of its batteries, it only returned useful data for 52 hours, and ceased transmissions entirely a few hours later.

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